1987 – Stella Neill, RSM, was greatly troubled by the inadequacy of safe, affordable low-income housing in Des Moines. A small group wanted to open a shelter for homeless families, but Stella believed that a shelter alone would provide only a temporary solution. Founding board members Fred Gay, Dean Wright, Patti McKee and Sid Drumheller shared Sister Stella's view, and together they created the vision for Anawim Housing. The nonprofit organization was incorporated in 1987, Sister Stella was named Executive Director.
1988 – Families move into the first two Anawim Housing homes in November
1991 – Anawim Housing builds North Park Place, consisting of six duplexes
1993 – 21 single-family homes are built at 13th & Forest.
1996 – Anawim Housing takes over Mid-City Duplexes, adding 28 units.
1997 – Anawim Housing received national recognition for our renovation of The Maine apartment building, which became an anchor for our revitalization efforts on Sixth Avenue. The Maine was the first of three Anawim buildings on the National Register of Historic Places to be restored.
2000 – Anawim Housing continues work on 6th Avenue renovating New Lawn apartments and the Kromer Flats building, which had stood vacant for a number of years. Anawim Housing's work on Sixth Avenue and nearby streets has continued with new housing construction and renovations of duplexes and apartment buildings.
2002 – Anawim Housing purchases and renovates the Riverbend properties.
2007 - In our 20th anniversary year, Anawim Housing completed its first-ever Capital Campaign, raising $3.5 million to invest in housing stock maintenance and long-term rental relief. Additional funds were used to create the Sr. Stella Neill Fund, which provides relief for Anawim tenants who need a hand in hard times. 67 units are purchased at Pioneer Woods in southeast Des Moines. The Women Empowering Families group was founded by two Anawim Housing board members, Cecelia Kent and Dotty Thurston.
2009 – The Nine Homes in Nine Days project takes off. Anawim Housing partners with Hubbell Realty to accomplish an incredible feat. With hundreds of volunteers, 9 townhomes were built in 9 days, generously donated to Anawim Housing by Hubbell Realty. More than 130 companies contributed time, talents and other goods towards the build. The project was part of the ABC Program Extreme Makeover: Home Edition.
2010 – Russ Frazier is named Anawim Housing’s new President. Anawim Housing gets its own office along with six attached apartments.
2011 – 16 town-homes are added at 22nd and Forest Avenue.
2012 – Anawim Housing celebrates its 25th anniversary. Forest & Fields town-homes are added on Hubbell Avenue and Forest Avenue.
2013 – 60 Affordable housing units are added to the east side of Des Moines at The Crest at Baker Creek apartment complex.
2015 – Ceremonial groundbreaking for The Legacy Project, located at 1511 6th Ave. This project will result in the creation of 5 new townhomes. It will be Anawim Housing's first privately funded building project. Anawim Housing manages 630 affordable rental units in the Des Moines area. More than 1,700 adults and children are served.
2016 – Ceremonial groundbreaking for the Brickstones at Riverbend project, located at 513 Forest Ave. Construction continues on the Legacy Project townhomes, set to be completed in Fall 2017. Anawim develops third party management company - Allterra Property Solutions. Allterra manages Drake Real Estate, adding 106 units and 8 commercial spaces to our portfolio.
2017 – We celebrated our 30th year with a special 30th Anniversary Event and ribbon cutting at our newly constructed Legacy Project townhomes. Legacy Park project provides $11.3 million in renovations to 137 Anawim units. Anawim moves to a new office at 1171 7th Street. Brickstones at Riverbend and the Legacy Project townhomes are completed, adding 35 units.
2018 - Anawim Housing hosts the DSM Magazine Unveiling Party at our new office. Full Circle is formed - a peer support group consisting of Anawim program participants that meet every Friday for lunch, connection and community. The Anawim Housing Home is Everything Podcast Series is created. We are named a Top Workplace in Iowa by The Des Moines Register. Construction was completed on Anawim's first 3 affordable housing projects outside of Des Moines, in: Cedar Rapids, Ottumwa, and Sioux City. Completion of the Aberdeen Apartments in Sioux City, adding 35 units. Allterra Property Solutions manages Campus Town and Campus View Student Housing in Ankeny, adding 169 units.
2019 - Our office moves to 1535 Linden Street. All property management operations are placed under Allterra Property Solutions, and Anawim Housing oversees our permanent supportive housing programs and foundation work. Through our sustainability model, all revenue from Allterra funnels directly into Anawim, which funds our programs and services. Anawim Housing hosted our first Rising Toward Community Event. Construction completed on the Washington Apartments in Ottumwa and Ashton Flats in Cedar Rapids, adding a total of 104 units to our portfolio.
Today - Anawim Housing is the largest provider of Permanent Supportive Housing in Iowa. Managing over 220 housing units, Anawim serves individuals and families who have experienced homelessness and live with a mental illness, substance use disorder, physical disability, diagnosis of HIV/AIDS, or are fleeing domestic violence. Allterra Property Solutions becomes a separate LLC, and owns and/or manages over 1,100 units across Iowa.